As any experienced mountaineer will tell you, a good hike starts with some quality iPad time.
No, seriously, let's make sure we consume our quota of internet-based entertainment before we have to disconnect.
An auspicious beginning: sunshine, proper footwear, brotherhood, floppy hat.
Looking out the driveway for the Highland Center across Saco Lake towards the shoulder of Mt. Jackson.
We set off along the shore of Saco Lake.
I think we can all agree there is no more accurate description for our group than "top physical condition."
I guess if we run out of dried mango and brownies, we could survive eating these.
Hey, do you think there are any bears in there? I've got an idea -- let's see if we can wake them up. Hellooo! Bears?
A nice walk in the woods.
"Top physical condition." Get used to hearing it; it's going to be a repeating theme.
Boreal batrachian.
View of the highway and Highland Center from the shoulder of Mt. Jackson.
I am King of the Mountain!
Clear as a mountain stream. With giardia. Oh wait, that's not part of the marketing campaign.
That's the trail we just came up. If it looks steep, that's because it was. But no worries -- remember we're in "top physical condition."
Boreal flora and fauna.
Need. To. Catch. Breath.
This guy came close. Real close. Maybe he wasn't aware of my cat-like reflexes.
Not above the treeline yet, but it's getting closer.
A moment of quiet reflection.
Arrival at the summit of Mt. Jackson (4,052 ft).
View from the summit.
Sunny skies in this direction, looking back towards Crawford Notch.
Not so sunny looking in the direction of Mt. Washington.
Can't get enough of the views.
Lovely blue mountains.
Such dramatic clouds!
Hey, look over there.
Looking back down into Crawford Notch.
Mizpah Hut in the distance.
Looks so soft, like you just want to lie down on it.
Wasn't it nice of them to come along and put in this pathway? It's just like being on the sidewalk in New York. OK, not really.
21st century jousting contest in North Face fleece instead of armor. Loser gets a mud bath.
Cloudwater Bog. I know it's only a bog, but how great a name is that?
We arrive at Mizpah Spring Hut. It's always a bit odd to turn a corner on a mountain trail and see a real building.
Gibbs Falls.
Luckily Old Man Gibbs wasn't around to chase us off with his shotgun, as he is known to do when his gout makes him cranky.
Bridle path? I'm not a horse guy, but it's tough for me to see how you could get a horse to participate in this sort of nonsense.
If we had seen this at the beginning, instead of at the end, perhaps we would have brought bear treats.
View from the parking lot of the clouds rolling in over the mountains. Fortunately, the real rain arrived after we were back in our car and safely headed for ice cream.
The neighbors are such show-offs. So what if they did establish the rules for financial relationships among the world's major industrial nation-states. Are we supposed to think that's some kind of big deal or something?
Posted 5-Oct-2012 by James Spier